Tricky one today? I think so.
On paper it’s not but we’ve just had a nasty shock in the week – we got beat for the first time since the opening day of the season and now it’s about how the group recover and perform against a manager-less Crystal Palace away from home.
The positive side to this game is we haven’t lost at home so far this term and despite it being tricky, we need to get back to winning ways, stay positive and be well prepared for what is, a very hard month ahead.
- Crystal Palace have only won one of the eight Premier League meetings (D2, L5). Those two draws however did come in their last two home clashes with the Gunners (1997 and 2004).
- Arsenal won the last Premier League meeting 5-1 in February 2005. That game saw the Gunners field a 16-man squad with no British players for the first time.
- Palace have not beaten Arsenal at home, in any competition, since a 1-0 top-flight victory in November 1979.
- Palace and Sunderland have yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season.
- The Eagles have lost their last five league matches. The last time they lost six league games in a row was March 2001.
- Despite their struggles, Palace have scored first in three of their eight league games this season.
- They have conceded more goals from set pieces this season (nine) than any other side in the Premier League.
- The Eagles have taken just 40 points from their 44 Premier League London derbies.
- The Gunners have scored three times as many league goals as Palace this season (18 versus 6).
- Arsenal have scored in their last 13 Premier League games – the longest current run in the league.
- Their midweek defeat against Borussia Dortmund ended a run of 12 unbeaten matches in all competitions (W10, D2)
- The Gunners have yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels in the league this season.
- Aaron Ramsey has scored more goals for Arsenal (9) in all competitions than the entire Crystal Palace squad combined (7).
- As well as scoring four Premier League goals, Olivier Giroud has a league-high four assists.
For a change, there are some interesting facts in there.
Us scoring three times as many goals as Palace so far is staggering and the fact that just one of our players, Aaron Ramsey, has already scored more than the entire Palace squad so far this season tells us all just how much todays home side have been struggling.
But that doesn’t mean that we can afford to be complacent, Palace will be out to change their luck and if our boys turn up thinking that’s all they have to do to get the maximum points, a shock could be on the cards.
And I hope Arsene Wenger isn’t tempted to rest/rotate players as doing that could bite him on the backside.
Mathieu Flamini should slot straight back into the starting eleven after suffering concussion last weekend but Jack Wilshere is a doubt and will face a late fitness test to determine whether he will be involved or not. If there is any doubt, I hope he sit’s this one out.
Regardless of whether Jack plays or not, regardless of the result on Tuesday, we really need to spank this Crystal Palace side and I mean spank them.
We are good away from home, we have a great set of travelling fas who will be right behind the team and today the players need to put in a great performance and get back to winning ways.
Three points, plenty of away goals and we’ll all be home happy…